10 Sep 2009

French senate again considers lifting Flosse's immunity

3:29 pm on 10 September 2009

French senate leaders will meet on Tuesday to consider a fresh bid to the lift the parliamentary immunity of the French Polynesian veteran politician, Gaston Flosse.

He is suspected of being central in a long-running corruption probe into the affairs of Tahiti's state-owned OPT telecommunications company.

In July, the French senate agreed to partially lift Mr Flosse's immunity for him to be questioned for up to 24 hours twice but stated that he could not to be taken into custody unless the Senate approved a further request put to it by the French justice ministry.

Five people, including a former OPT boss and Mr Flosse's personal secretary, have been held in jail for up to four months amid suspicion that Mr Flosse received about two million US dollars in kickbacks from a French advertising executive over a period of more than ten years.